Contending with the Hyphen(s): Muslim women negotiating identity, gender and conflict in New Zealand

Stephanie Dobson


This article examines processes of identity creation in the lives of Muslim women in New Zealand who have experienced their young-to-mid adulthood after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Identity construction for these women has subsequently become increasingly complex negotiating between popular essentialist stereotypes often ascribed to Islam, and dynamic conditions of diaspora and minority contexts. These macroscopic issues are negotiated in the processes of the women’s identity articulations. Drawing on the narratives of individual women of Islamic faith, as well as theoretical perspectives regarding ‘hyphenated identities’, this article explores the syncretic formulations of identity that contradict stereotypical notions, and which advocate for women and create new avenues for the conceptualization of self–hood.


Muslim Women; New Zealand; Identity; Conflict; Stereotypes; Gender

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